Following a solid outing at the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this month, the team at M-Motorsport believe its performances were solid preparation for the upcoming CAMS Australian GT Championship.
Lead by team-boss Justin McMillan, the three-car team had a mixed outing at the iconic race with a class victory, while the other two cars finished fourth and fifth.
Joining McMillan in the Class C winning KTM X-Bow GT4 was regular co-driver Glen Wood and other Australian GT regulars Dean Lillie and Elliot Barbour.
All three cars began the day battling out in the class however it was the #48 KTM who would end up having the final glory, despite suffering issues throughout the afternoon session due to the heat also affecting the pace.
Following the turbulent event the saw the teams’ other two of the cars limp to the end, McMillan was thrilled with the team’s first class victory after coming close on multiple occasions in previous years.
“We felt we missed out the last two years whilst leading the class, so we were intent on victory this year,” McMillan admitted.
“At one stage we thought we might be good for a podium lockout, but 12-hours is a long way, and the last couple of years have shown that little things can have a big impact on your day.
“Sadly the heat has a big effect on the cars, and that played out with both the #48 and the #50, but we had such an advantage by the middle of the race that we were able to hold on till the end.
“The crew did an amazing job, and it was great to have Dean and Elliot along this year for the ride.”
Behind the wheel of the fourth placed KTM X-Bow GT4 car were fellow Australian GT regulars David Crampton and Trent Harrison alongside were other who alongside international Caitlin Wood and Tim Macrow.
It was a tough day at the office for the team, who found the car also struggling with the heat, coming unstuck with just 26 minutes in the race/
The disappointing end to the day came off the back a sensational recovery from the team, who had worked its way back to the front of class after Crampton was forced off the circuit during the qualifying.
Despite the disappointing ending, Crampton was still proud of the efforts put in by his team, with the GT regular lauding his team’s ability to lead the race at different points.
“I got hit, or turned around by an outright car every day,” Crampton revealed post-race.
“It was a tough weekend, but despite the setbacks we managed to lead the race for three and a half hours and were still in contention for a 1-2 finish with less than half an hour to go.
“I can’t thank my team-mates enough, they drove brilliantly. Trent [Harrison], Tim [Macrow] and Caitlin [Wood] all put in immense effort in the intense heat - it was a mammoth effort by all concerned and great preparation for the coming AGT season.”
The final M-Motorsport was lead by former AGT Trophy Class champion Dean Koutsoumidis, with James Winslow, SuperGT regular Jake Parsons and Swiss sportscar ace Mathias Beche lining up in the #71 Equity One X-Bow.
An early setback saw the car battling niggling issues for much of the day, however like their teammates, they were able to slightly recover with Beche claiming a new Class C lap record in the process.
Like Crampton, Koutsoumidis believed the event was fantastic preparation for the 2019 CAMS Australian GT Championship’s opening round in March.
“It was one of those weekends,” Koutsoumidis added.
“We had a fantastic time as a team and really learnt a lot, but sometimes Bathurst can be cruel, and once you suffer a setback - especially early - it’s tough to regain the motivation when you’re well down on the leaders.
“Despite that we were able to take a new Class C lap record, and give ourselves some great preparation ahead of the Grand Prix and the Australian GT season-opener.”
The 2019 CAMS Australian GT Championship kicks off at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 at Albert Park next month.